Archive for June 2011

I left her in the bush

Sunday, 12. June 2011

– close to the crocs.

It took us between 5 and 6 hours yesterday to get to one of South Africa’s very remote areas. Xivambalana (pronounced she-vamba-larna) River Camp is situated directly at the Limpopo, close to where the Mogalakwana flows into the Limpopo. An indication of the remoteness is the close by Platjan border post to Botswana. It is only open between 8:00 and 16:00, and only to be used once the Limpopo carries little water. there is no bridge, but only a ford to cross the river.

The last 28 kilometers are somewhat rough – dirt road. So it is a matter finding the right speed. About 80 km/h is the right for this one. A smooth ride, only the deep sand passages generate some adrenaline. And the low standing sun lets me oversee two bumps – first time the Navara jumps. In the rear view mirror a long trail of dust. But it was not just rallye like driving. Some stops on the way to admire Baobabs.

The crew at the camp is finalizing the preparation for the course. But all other students are only arriving on Sunday, so the team takes some time for a game drive. Actually first a walk to get closer to a fish eagle we spotted from the car. Close by, on the sand bank in the middle of the Limpopo: two crocs.

Back to the car we follow the Limpopo. Great sightings – a group of Waterbuck in the golden light of the setting sun in the middle of the river.

 

And once more: Fat Bastard is calling.

..

Monique’s reading

Sunday, 5. June 2011

Having no internet access is a nightmare, but it means less distraction too.

May be this is good for Monique’s endeavour. These days she is reading from morning to night. She has got meanwhile the class material from FGASA (Field Guide Association of South Africa), and we have bought the most important highly recommended books.

The timetable of her class is going to be tough: each day a 3-4 hours gamedrive and an as long game / field walk. In addition the students have to cover all ranger tasks circulating, from preparing early breakfast, to wake-up calls, and checking the car for readiness for a gamedrive. There will be little time left for the theoretical studies of the 17 modules covered in the course. But the questionnaire for the theoretical part of the examen is on its own 95 pages (A4) of length; just the assessment form for the examen is additional 18 pages long.

Now there is just a week left for preparation. Next Saturady morning we will be on the road towards the border to Botswana in the very north of South Africa.

That is Africa too

Sunday, 5. June 2011

More than two weeks without internet access.

Calls to the provider’s hotline – without substantial results. Finally seeing the provider’s technical team, and let them check the router ( I was not even able to access it at home). Interestingly it showed the factory settings. After changing it worked at the ISP. At home it worked once, twice, gone. At least now I could access the router – has switched to Telkom guest account. But changing not possible.

Okay next time I had to see customer’s downtown and my schedule left some room, back to the ISP. Checking there it works fine. Back home – it works!. Leaving a note for Monique on the table: Everything is okay.

When I come home at night Monique is frustrated. The internet doesn’t work. She could look up one email, then it stuck. Double check from my laptops: no access. Checking the router …. see above.

The next day Monique went to Telkom to get the router exchanged.

In the evening installing the new router: No DSL line.
Opening a call Telkom: “At our site everything looks fine” But it is not working! Might be a line issue, needs to be transfered to the technicians.

Next day, just leaving customer premises, a call from a Telkom technician. He needs to check the wiring, is standing in front of our door. Obviously once more the door bell is not working – may be it is too cold.

The technician makes some (strange) chances to the connecting cables, checks with is PC – everything is fine – and wants to leave. Monique stops him since with our PC it is not working. She forces him to call the hotline of our ISP. Together they come to the conclusion all is fine on  their sides. Even the router says DSL and internet access. But we can’t get to any website.

They are leaving Monique with the statement: “Everything is fine on our side, there msut be something wrong with your LAN, but this is something we can’t fix.

LAN issue ?!   –   Bull…. !  How can it be a LAN issue if I can access the network drive from my PC?

Finally today I did reach out to Lars-Olof, and with his support I could fix it.